This is a rant all about my part time job. And it has nothing to do with the customers I deal with, it has everything to do with the incompetence of fellow co-workers.
I'm sure by now, everyone on this board has had to call customer service for something whether it's your phone, the cable, bill collectors, the bank, ect. you have needed to talk to a person for something. Generally speaking, most people have encountered bad customer service where the phone rep wasn't helpful or gave you the wrong information. I generally feel the need to hit something after talking to Tmobile - they have terrible customer service and they don't care.
Now, I work at a call center for a ticketing company and no, not Ticketmaster. There are a lot of things that do surprise me about customers who call in and I would say half of my calls are in helping older customers with Print at Home tickets or navigating to a venue website for a seating chart or any other basic computer task. I actually don't mind those calls because I can help and in fact, I don't mind the person asking a million questions about a show or a venue because I'm good at answering those questions too. Before working in a call center, I had worked for an event venue and I've traveled extensively across the country for concerts and productions: I've been to everything from small clubs with 500 people to having stood on a main stage at Lollapalloza in front of 40,000 people.
Most of my co-workers have not worked in a venue, nor are they familiar with stage set ups or random things like how to find a set list from a show as they tend not to be published in advance. They are still perfectly able to do the job and if they have questions they ask a manager or the few people like me who have worked in a venue before. And as far as customer complaints, they tend to mostly concern people not paying attention to what they order online or having tickets go missing in the mail. The nightmare calls are fortunately few and far between and when I'm talking about those, I mean the person scream, cursing and telling you what a failure you are at your job when they didn't get to buy Bieber tickets. My worst call concerned convincing a man who used aol for his email that no, he didn't need to be at his home computer to print his tickets, he can access his email from anywhere - that call took 25 minutes. I am happy to say it ended with him printing his tickets and grumbling what I took as a thank you.
Now, imagine your calling with questions about a show - not hard ones, just when does it go on sale and how much are tickets, easy stuff. Now, imagine, you are sitting off and on hold which the guy who picked up your call hums and haws and keeps saying he can't find this or help with that. One of my co-workers does this, all shift, every call, every SINGLE time he works and he has been with the company longer then I have. It isn't rocket science and yet this guy has managed to turn a phone rep job into climbing Everest! And it never fails that he sits near me so I get to hear him for my entire shift. I get to listen to him make mistakes, pass along bad information or downright lie. He is that person you talk to that no matter what you say, he can't help you and people like him are the reason phone reps get such a bad reputation. When you want to reach though the phone and choke him, I'm sitting there looking at our security cameras wondering if they are on because if not, I want to kick his head in and get on his phone and take the call.
What kills me is that companies like mine keep people like this as their voice and allow someone to represent them poorly. It doesn't have to be that way! At our location, the training manager is actually great at his job but they don't use him enough and they certainly don't have the bad phone reps sit with him to go over the basics of the job or allow him to make recommendations to get rid of them. My nightmare co-worker has been with the company over 3 years so he's apparently not bad enough to fire and that shocks me as we are scored on our calls. Your score determines how many hours you get and preference of hours and what do you know Mr. Nightmare gets the most desirable shifts (nights & weekends) so he can work a day job.
I just returned to school to finish my degree and I'm a business major. It baffles me that companies come up with all these policy and procedures but can't bother with common sense. My first thought would be to put in peer reviews - we are logged onto a computer anyway, if we have time in between calls, perhaps writing both a good and bad review could help. And since it would be identified, employees would have to watch their words - I don't like the idea of anonymous reviews because it allows adults the freedom to act like teenagers and flame people they just don't like while talking about how wonderful they themselves are. If you don't believe me, look at the commentary of online news posts.
I felt like putting it out there, that when you are getting honestly bad service, remember there is a possibility someone else heard it and is just as frustrated as you are. If the bad service over the phone, ask for a manager or hang up and call back - most places don't have just one person answering the phone and you might get lucky and talk to someone who does know what they are doing or is at least willing to help.